A new study has found a correlation between people who read more books and increased longevity. Individuals with a usual habit of reading everyday were found to have a higher survival advantage than those who do not read books at all.
The study was published in the journal Social Science & Medicine by a team of researchers from Yale University School of Public Health. Over the course of their study, they analyzed data involving around 3,635 people over the age of 50 years, who participated in a health study by answering a few questions regarding their reading habits.
After the questionnaire, the obtained data led to three types of reading habits which allowed the researchers to create three different groups of people: those who read books up to three and a half hours weekly, people who spend more than three and a half hours weekly and the final group was made of people who don’t read books at all.
The researchers observed a trend in the data. Most of the book readers were females, tended to have a higher education and also had a higher income than others. So controls were set in place for these factors and others including race, age, health, employment and even marital status.
After the researchers analyzed the data, they found that people who read around three and a half hours a week had 17 percent less chance of dying over a period of 12 years. Those that read books more than three and a half hours weekly had a 23 percent less chance. Experts found a similar correlation in people who read newspapers and periodicals, but the overall rate was weaker.
According to Epidemiology Professor Becca Levy, the senior author of the study, even a half an hour spent daily on reading books can lead to a significant survival advantage.
“The survival advantage remained after adjusting for wealth, education, cognitive ability and many other variables.”
It is important to point out that the study did not establish a cause-and-effect relationship between book reading and a longer life, merely a correlation. Also, the study did not distinguish any difference between reading electronic books or physical ones and it isn’t entirely clear if the reading books and not what it is being read leads to an increase in longevity. People who like to keep themselves informed make overall better decisions regarding their health habits and more.
How often do you read books?
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